Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Samuel E. Kelly Lecture

“Hidden Bias in Health Care: A Reflection on 10 Years of Health Care Disparities Research”

Featuring Janice A. Sabin, Ph.D, MSW

Date: Friday, April 8, 2016
Reception: 5-6 p.m. / Lecture: 6-7 p.m.
Location: wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House
Cost: FREE but advance registration is requested. For more information, please contact or 206-685-9594.

About the Lecture

Janice SabinIn 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) landmark report, Unequal Treatment, found strong evidence that differences exist in quality of health care based on patient race and ethnicity. The IOM declared that these differences or disparities in care are related to worse health outcomes and that they are unacceptable. This finding led to many unanswered questions. Do providers contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in care? Can well-meaning health care providers hold hidden or unconscious racial and ethnic bias? If they do, does this type of hidden bias affect how people are treated in health care visits? If hidden or unconscious bias does affect how people are treated in health care, when and how does bias affect care? What can be done about provider bias as contributing factor to health care disparities? Janice Sabin has been studying these questions since 2002, when she returned to the UW Social of Work to study the topic at the doctoral level. Dr. Sabin is one of the earliest investigators in the nation to apply the science of unconscious bias to health care disparities research. She has pioneered research to determine whether and under what circumstances providers’ hidden or unconscious attitudes and stereotypes contribute to racial and ethnic health care disparities. Dr. Sabin’s lecture will summarize a decade of health care disparities research on hidden bias in health care and describe a course on health care disparities developed for physicians, nurses and health providers-in-training.

Janice A. Sabin, Ph.D., MSW

Dr. Sabin is a research associate professor in the UW School of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education. She is also an adjunct research associate professor in the UW School of Social Work and affiliated faculty with the UW School of Medicine’s Center for Health, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Sabin’s area of expertise is racial and ethnic health care disparities with an emphasis on understanding mechanisms and pathways that lead to unequal treatment in health care. She is one of the earliest investigators in the nation to apply the science of unconscious bias to health care disparities research. Her work is published in leading academic journals and has received extensive national and international media attention.Dr. Sabin has designed and implemented original research as principal investigator or co-investigator in academic medicine, the Indian Health Service, the Washington state community mental health system and with national samples. Her research includes examining patient-provider communication, pediatricians treatment decisions for African American and white patients, racial and weight bias among providers in the Indian Health Service, provider stereotypes of people with mental illnesses, providers’ attitudes about weight, and providers’ attitudes toward lesbian women and gay men. She has experience in community-based participatory research with African American and American Indian/Alaska Native communities to develop culturally appropriate health education materials. Dr. Sabin is a graduate of Boston University and the UW School of Social Work (MSW in health/mental health in 2001, Ph.D. in social welfare in 2006). Along with her brother, she is writing a book about their grandmother’s immigration to the United States in 1917.

About the Series

Dr. Samuel E. Kelly

Dr. Samuel E. Kelly

Named in honor of the University of Washington’s first vice president for the Office of Minority Affairs (1970), the annual Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture is dedicated to acknowledging the work of distinguished faculty by spotlighting nationally recognized research focusing on diversity and social justice. Understanding differences takes place where there are opportunities to learn and become more informed about other people’s viewpoints, historical perspectives, life experiences, cultures, customs and contributions. Educational institutions have an opportunity and responsibility through teaching and research to promote awareness of diversity and its importance within a campus community and society.

The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodations in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodations for this event, contact the Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at: 206-543-6450/V, 206-543-6452/TTY, 206-685-7264 (Fax), or email at